Intellectual Property Law

New Matter SPRING 2024, VOLUME 49, EDITION 1


Jay Parkhill
Parkhill Venture Counsel, P.C.


Cookie banners are ubiquitous and confusing. Every time we visit a new website we get a popup asking us to Accept Cookies, Reject Cookies, Manage Cookies or Do Not Sell my Personal Information. All the notices are well intentioned for sure, and are legally required, but they are obtrusive, hard to understand and mostly we end up wishing they would just go away. They also tell us that disabling cookies may cause websites to function poorly. As an experiment then, I decided to reject cookies on every website, both to find out if anything would really break, and also so I could take a look at the consent mechanisms. Here are the results of that experiment.

A few notes on terminology before diving in: "cookies" technically refers to small files that a website stores on a computer. Cookies store information about a person’s visit to a website, which allows the site to track things like a person’s browsing history, login information and other metrics. Sites can also use tracking code embedded in tiny images on a website, and other technologies, to do the same thing. Those are technically different from cookies but they accomplish the same purpose, so this article will use the term cookies to loosely refer to all technologies that can be used to track visits to a website, or across websites.

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